Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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Click below to read the article
By: Ken Harris
Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: C. L. Barnhouse
Grade: 1 1/2 Rock = 138
Don’t be thrown by the title of this excellent learning tool for the very young band. Ken Harris has penned another fine chart, “A” Rock, for beginning band instrumentalists, that will excite them into learning the feel of rock and consequently jazz figures as well.
There really is nothing written to frustrate the middle-school musician on this chart. All parts are composed in a comfortable range and there are unisons which enable the students to lean on and hear each other perform the figures correctly with good intonation.
Ken Harris has provided a solo section based on the “Bb” blues and gives backgrounds to the accompanying instruments throughout the ensemble behind each soloist. This chart is a wonderful device for not only getting your very young players excited about playing in a big band, but also giving them the experience of performing solos over the base of all jazz and improvised music, namely, the blues.
For the director who wants his/her band to “hear” the chart first, Barnhouse offers cassettes of its charts for schools at $5.00 each just for this purpose. Next time you want a teaching tool for your very young band on the middle school level check out “A” Rock by Ken Harris. Top trumpet note is written Eb in the staff.